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Thanks to Flight Of The Conchords, I now find it impossible to listen to the Pet Shop Boys without picturing Bret and Jermaine's brilliant, on-the-nail piss take of the electronic duo, 'Inner City Pressure'. Everything about its delivery aped the most ridiculous elements of 'West End Girl'. I was never a big fan of the genuine band in the first place, but having seen their oeuvre so perfectly recreated in that way, the two images - the straight and the satirical - will forever be inextricably linked.

In the same way, there is something faintly comical about broadly European female singers rapping in a monotone over sparse electro music. There is an unreality to it, a falsity. Even in the absence of any direct send up, it just has the ring of French and Saunders to me. Maybe it's only me.

C.A.R. is the solo project by ChloÈ Raunet, formerly of Battant. She describes her music as somewhere between pure pop and acquired taste and, rarely for an artist, it's a highly appropriate description. Debut album My Friend moves uncertainly between centrist approximations of pop and avant-garde. In the end it falls down more on the pop side, but only because it recalls genre pieces that seemed broadly weird in the late '70s, but which are now well blended with mainstream electro pop. Her constructs are not exactly slavish, but very definitely reverential.

'My Friend' manages some sparkling moments. What I like most of all about Raunet's style isn't the melodies or the production, which are perfectly fine, if unmemorable. She has a great way of blandly riding a melody onto a flat or dissonant note along a poppy line, subverting it in that vaguely arty way that Gudrun Gut perfected on her cover of 'Simply The Best'. The musical accompaniment can be workaday - shuffling electronica with bits of percussion glued on haphazardly in seemingly random patterns - but the vocals have clearly been a labour of love.

So although it sounds like a funny thing to focus on, damn it there's just something about the lyrical phrasing that sticks in the head. Like Siouxsie Sioux, Raunet has a goading kind of attitude towards poetry, as if she's purposefully trying to make each word sound unnatural, and jumble up stresses to create disorder in amongst sentences. 'A Ticket' works because the artist sounds like she's singing a socialist anthem to a room full of '70s free school-ers. The song's droning backing track is built around a mess of clashing themes, coalescing into a garish collage underscored by a single held chord. On 'Ten Steps Up' she repeats this trick of oddly spacing her syllables. Single 'Idle Eyes' is driven by a College-y keyboard riff and puts some Rocky Horror lyrics over the top; a sort of awkward disco creeper.

Album closer 'Thick Mud of My Heart' is indicative of C.A.R.'s attitude: good natured, trusting of poetry and with faith in art's ability to instil hope. In the end, there just isn't quite enough to lift My Friend above the mass of similar (and often more dynamic) electronica out there. C.A.R. work from a blueprint that requires patience as well as a sense of humour from its listener. At times, it earns its stripes. Over an extended running time, it could be accused of lacking ambition.

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